In her mind’s eye, ‘Jane’ sees a scene from when she was living in Paris: running through alleys, injured and low on blood. Something is chasing her, shrouded in shadows. Something big, at least eight feet tall. Seeing her destination, she sprints to a four story classical building labeled Sûreté Nationale. The creature follows, jumping through a window. A commotion is heard and suddenly smoke can be seen.
As this memory recedes from the forefront of her mind, she opens her eyes. It is an empty space, totally dark except for some shifting shades of reds and purples. Much like when you close your eyes.
Standing in front of her, seemingly standing on nothing, is a young man in a period apropos police uniform. His back is turned until he spins on his heel and gives you a French military salute with a sarcastic smile. It is Gaëtan de Freycinet
“Bonjour, little monster! The years seem to have treated you well. You haven’t aged a day.”
Deeply disturbed by this dream visitation, she plays cool. “Bonjour.” This may be her dream but there is no reason to think she is in control or safe. The plan is to wait and placate until able to wake…
Gaëtan says, “You really should remember those you’ve killed. And been hunted by, as they are often the same.” The Frenchmen raises one eye brow inquisitively. “J’accuse. You… don’t remember me do you. I am insulted.” Convulsing for an instant. The man’s body expands, growing taller, gaining muscle mass, and changing shape.
‘Jane’ shrugs. “C’est la vie. Le passé est le passé.” Giving Gaëtan a sharp, predatory look through dark eyelashes, she asks “What are you looking for now, ami?”
He shrugs slowly and then speaks. “I’m dead. I don’t really want anything anymore. A few hundred years as a shade will do that to you. Makes it hard to feel anything other than what you routinely felt in life.” He shifts his weight onto his back paw and smiles slightly. “I only felt burned alive once but neither that pain or revenge were routine. You’re safe.”
He pulls his legs under him and falls into a cross-legged siting position. “I’m just here to offer you a warning and a gift from some gros bonnet spirit named Hegla or Hegar or something.” He leans forward a bit. “Which do you want first? The warning or the gift?”
Changing her stance not at all, ‘Jane’ replies without enthusiasm or trepidation, “The warning.”
“You are about to be hunted again. By something new. Something much more powerful and dedicated anything else that has ever come after you. Aaaaaaand… fire ain’t going to hurt her.” He laughs a little. “And now the gift…”
Gaëtan snaps his fingers and Jane feels a sharp pain in her head as knowledge of the thaumaturgic discipline The Lure of Flames rushes into her mind. “That Hargur spirit has a crazy sense of humor.”
‘Jane’ winces at the sudden pain in her head, begins to slowly back away from Gaëtan, and says, “I am warned. Bonjour, spirit.” She expects the spirit to leave but her posture and tone are still defensive…
Gaëtan bows and starts to fade away as the world seems to start dimming to total darkness.
His voice fades as he delivers his parting words. “I would wake up now, little one. I think I smell smoke.”